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Wednesday, Jun 19, 2024

Health Care Leadership Forum & Awards 2018: Finalists

DR. VIK BAKHRU, ConsejoSano

Dr. Vik Bakhru is the Chief Operating Officer at Consejo-Sano, a leading health platform. Dr. Bakhru has played a key role in the development and advancement of digital health in addition to an extensive history in traditional medicine, with particular focus on the power of technology and innovation in meeting the health needs of underserved populations, addressing social determinants of health and improving health outcomes for all populations.

He has helped drive understanding, adoption and use of innovative new care delivery systems across a network of medical practice groups in 17 states across the United States. He is a unique blend of physician, senior health executive and entrepreneur that helps support and drive the growing new use of technology in health care. At ConsejoSano, he has played a key role in building models, strategic plans, migrating teams and restructuring the company’s approach and service offerings to expand its reach to a broader demographic.

SOPHIA CHAN, Monrovia Gardens Healthcare Center

Monrovia Gardens Healthcare Center is a 90-bed skilled nursing facility that focuses on providing senior post-acute health care. In 2016, Monrovia Gardens recruited Marketing Director Sophia Chan (with nearly 10 years of sales and marketing experience) to provide dynamic leadership that will further improve the excellent nursing services, resident experiences, and to enhance hospital, physicians, and community relationships. As a Marketing Director, Chan firmly believes that when a business focuses on being the best member of the community by providing optimal resident-focused, family-focused, and community-focused services, the business will naturally thrive. Time has proven that to truly be the case, as Monrovia Gardens has expanded the bed count and achieved average higher census in the last two years since Chan’s arrival.

With Chan’s dynamic leadership, additional programs have been added to have more festivities on every holiday.

ERIKA ESTRADA, L.A. Care Health Plan

Erika Estrada currently manages the Community Relations team at L.A. Care Health Plan, the largest publicly operated health plan in the nation, serving more than two million members in Los Angeles County. She manages L.A. Care’s consumer advisory councils for seniors and people with disabilities, working to ensure that members – representing some of the most vulnerable in L.A. County — have a voice in their care. Estrada also manages the organization’s $1 million annual sponsorship fund, working to ensure meaningful partnerships with community-based organizations whose work is critical to strengthening the safety net that supports so many across L.A. County, with special focus on organizations that respond to the health needs of LGBTQI individuals, people experiencing homelessness, at-risk youth, and family caregivers.

Estrada also mentors young women, helping them with their resumes, connecting them to resources, and to professional growth opportunities.

NANCY FREEDMAN, Encino Plaza Surgical Center

Nancy Freedman has been a dedicated head nurse of the Encino Plaza Surgical Center for over 16 years. She is in charge of hiring, training, and managing all of the scheduling for the nurses at the surgical center. Known for being extremely dedicated to her work and the patients she serves, she works hard to make sure the clients receive the best service and care. Her day starts at 6 am at work and ends at 6 pm. She is standing on her feet all day for her 12-hour shift but wouldn’t change a thing, as she loves what she does and her profession.

Her colleagues report that not only is she an example of great leadership for the surgical center, but for the industry as a whole. She sets a tone of positivity and dedication for all those around her.

DR. MIKAYEL GRIGORYAN, Adventist Health Glendale

For many years now, Dr. Mikayel Grigoryan has spent at least three weeks per year in remote areas in Armenia where medical care is much needed. His most recent medical mission trip in September 2017 was with Adventist Health Glendale. Dr. Grigoryan was one of 40 physicians and employees of Adventist Health Glendale who traveled to Noyemberyan, Armenia where he helped provide pro bono life saving medical treatment, surgeries, and training.

Dr. Grigoryan is also actively involved in the Los Angeles Stroke Society, collaborating with health care specialists to review research and provide education, thus ensuring the latest techniques and protocols in stroke care are followed in hospitals throughout Los Angeles County. Dr. Grigoryan is also a member of the California Neurology Society He is committed to educating medical professionals as well as the community and provides lectures for the Armenian American Medical Society.


Barbara Hines is the President and CEO of QueensCare and QueensCare Health Centers. She affiliated with QueensCare when it was formed in 1988 to, as its motto states, be an exemplar of “Bringing Healthcare to the Community.” Hines oversaw the complete reorganization of the five QueensCare Health Centers necessitated by the Affordable Care Act. She oversaw the building of the new East L.A. QueensCare Health Center with 36 exam rooms providing medical, dental, vision, and pediatric care. Further, under her stewardship, a new mobile dental clinic was recently installed at Esperanza Street School.

In short, Hines led QueensCare through health care reform, which involved a number of complicated and delicate operations. She is highly skilled at negotiating with government agencies and developing collaborations with other private and public agencies offering health care to the poor in Los Angeles County.


Ryan Iwamoto is the Owner and Co-Founder of 24Hr Home- Care, one of the largest, privately owned non-medical home care companies in the Western United States. Iwamoto co-founded 24Hr HomeCare at the young age of 26 with his two business partners. Since founding the company in 2008, Iwamoto has taken 24Hr HomeCare from a small $160,000 self and family funded venture into a home care empire, with 16 locations in 3 states and employing over 7000.

Iwamoto founded 24Hr Home- Care with one thing in mind: the community. 24Hr HomeCare’s overarching mission is to help people, and that is why corporate social responsibility is built into the fiber of the company. One of the ways Iwamoto is able to give back is through the company’s Proceeds to Charity program. This program allows each client to select a partnering non-profit organization where a portion of his or her proceeds will be directly donated.

SKYE KELLY, Heal One World

Skye Kelly is a certified yoga instructor, meditation teacher and tai chi leader. In 2009 she founded the non-profit charity Heal One World and is the current Executive Director. Based in Los Angeles and expanded to its second location (Fresno) in early 2017, Heal One World provides free and donation based classes and self care resources for those who cannot afford or lack access to them at both their studio locations and onsite with other organizations.

Under Kelly’s leadership, the greater goal of the organization is to ensure that no one else will be denied the means to achieve a healthy and productive life because of their financial circumstances. Many alternative and non-invasive treatments tend to not reach low income individuals because of a lack of insurance coverage or a general lack of awareness about such options. What is especially innovative about Heal One World is its focus both on preventative health care and on alternative treatments for chronic illnesses.

TOBIAS KENNEDY, Montage Insurance Solutions

Tobias Kennedy recently celebrated his 10th year with Montage Insurance Solutions. No stranger to the world of health insurance, he received his underwriting training from Blue Shield of California.

In recent years, Kennedy has become a leading expert in health care reform and been a speaker and educator at several well-regarded organizations including PIHRA, the HRD Network (California Credit Union Association), LA Financial Planners Association, LANSA, SMA’s Legal Update (a special interest chapter of SHRM), Montage’s own ‘My HR Summit’ series, a national speaker for a Christian CEO organization “Convene” as one of its Health Care Reform experts, and various Boards of Directors ranging from the Los Angeles Police Credit Union’s board to the Executive team at Good Nite Inn. He is OSHA-10 and CalOSHA-10 certified serving clients in both Employee Benefits as well as Property & Casualty, and sat on the board of directors for the Staffing Management Association.


Joe Kiani is Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Masimo Corporation, a global medical technology company that develops and manufactures innovative non-invasive patient monitoring technologies. Kiani founded Masimo in 1989 as a private company to improve the accuracy of noninvasive patient monitoring. Under his leadership, Masimo has grown from a “garage start up” into a successful publicly traded medical technology company employing over 2,000 people worldwide and increasing product revenue four-fold in the last five years.

Since 1998, Kiani has also been the CEO and Chairman of Masimo Labs, a research and development company focused on non invasive monitoring. Kiani has served on the board of the Medical Device Manufacturers Association since 2002, and is the past Chair of MDMA. Kiani has testified before the US Senate and FTC on issues related to Group Purchasing Organizations, and the patent system.

DR. ROBERT KLAPPER, Cedars-Sinai Medical Group

Dr. Robert Klapper, known to many as the on-air personality behind his “Weekend Warrior” show on ESPN710 radio, has been in private practice in Los Angeles at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center since 1989, caring for thousands of patients, some of them world-renowned athletes and others Hollywood’s most famous stars. He is currently the chief of orthopedic surgery for Cedars-Sinai Medical Group.

He works hard, is devoted to his patients, always answers his calls to discuss patient care, and goes the extra mile to make sure they are well taken care of as if each patient were a member of his own family. As chief of orthopedics, he’s well known for running an on-time, efficient OR, and all the OR nurses will tell you how much they like being there with him. On top of being an incredibly skilled surgeon and physician, he consistently brings a level of joy to the job that rubs off on his fellow clinicians as well as patients.

CAROL K. LUCAS, Buchalter

Carol K. Lucas is an attorney who focuses her practice on health care law and general business law. She has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, securities, private placements, state and federal regulations, entity formation and corporate representation of both public and private companies in the health care industry. Over the last several years, Lucas has represented numerous clients in connection with issues and disputes related to payment for health care services. She is also an expert on the establishment and representation of Federally Qualified Health Centers and related issues such as governance requirements, issues raised by hospital sponsorship of FQHCs, application issues, and the impact of health care reform on these entities.

Lucas also specializes in the representation of ambulatory surgery centers, med spas, imaging centers, and other ancillary providers and in the legal and business issues that confront independent practice associations and other physician organizations.

DR. AHMED MAKI, Los Angeles Center for Cosmetic Surgery

Dr. Ahmed Maki is a Triple-Board Certified surgeon with an impressive list of academic and professional achievements. He has completed a five year residency through Michigan State University in Otolaryngology/Facial Plastic Surgery and furthered his training with a General Cosmetic Surgery fellowship through Vincent Surgical Arts, a fellowship accredited through the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery. Dr. Maki is Board Certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology/Facial Plastic Surgery, American Board of Cosmetic Surgery and American Board of Facial Cosmetic Surgery.

Dr. Maki has continued to advance his education through advanced training including an extended year fellowship in General Cosmetic Surgery. He has traveled on Medical Mission trips in Guatemala and areas of Mexico where he has performed cleft palate and lip repairs for underserved populations and continues to pursue such opportunities in both foreign countries and locally.

JOE MANNIS, Project Angel Food

Before attending Loyola Law School, Joseph Mannis started as a social worker for Los Angeles County’s Aid to the Totally Disabled. Primarily a litigator, his expertise in this field has ranged from heavy construction to entertainment, and for many years family law. He is a founding partner of Hersh Mannis LLP, a 12-lawyer boutique practice focused on family law.

For the past six years he has been on the Board of Project Angel Food and in 2015 was elected Chairman of the Board. He currently serves as chair emeritus. Mannis has fostered the development and expansion of Project Angel Food’s critical services – providing nutritionally specific meals to 1,300 of the most seriously ill in Los Angeles. He has stewarded Project Angel Food through major financial challenges over the past five years and helped the organization achieve fiscal health. Because of his tireless work at Project Angel Food and his advocacy for the poor and hungry, 1,300 lives are better every day.

ABNER MASON, ConsejoSano

Abner Mason has held multiple prestigious business and civic roles, including senior executive positions in both corporate and government organizations. As founder and CEO of ConsejoSano, he created the first and only patient engagement and care navigation system designed for Medicare/Medicaid, underserved and multilingual populations to better engage with the health care system. He is also one of a growing number of minority founders of venture-backed technology startups and a leading entrepreneur in bringing innovation to underserved populations.

In 2018, Mason founded the Health Tech 4 Medicaid coalition, a non-profit group of health care and technology leaders collaborating together on innovation and solutions for Medicaid. Additionally, he was a founding council member of U.S. of Care, a nonprofit centered on improving health care access. Mason is an active thought leader and business and technology executive sharing insight and ideas to help bring better health care to all.


Precious Mayes started WAVE Innovations, LLC as an independent consulting company with fresh visionary ideas. Initially, she created this company in January 2014 to provide customized services to health care providers that range from the physician community, insurance/managed care companies, accountable care organizations, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, acute care hospitals, long term acute, hospice, congregate living and pharmaceuticals. Mayes has taken on key executive roles such as CEO, CSO, COO for hospitals to turnaround operations, finance and physician management.

During the past year, Mayes expanded WAVE Innovations to other industries outside of health care. Examples include energy efficiency for industrial businesses, health care products, insurance programs, entertainment and other business opportunities. One of many of Mayes’ skills by nature is business relations and negotiations. Colleagues report that Mayes inspires others to be their best.

LOUISE MCCARTHY, Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County

Louise McCarthy is the President & CEO of the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC), where she represents the interests of LA area Community Clinics and Health Centers, and those they serve.

Throughout her personal and professional career, McCarthy has always advocated for the health and wellbeing of members of her community and beyond. Throughout her time at CCALAC, she has doubled the operating budget of the organization – overseeing achievements in the organization such as supporting workforce development, advancing clinic transformation, achieving organizational excellence, and expanding health access and coverage. Through her work at CCALAC and CPCA, she helped shepherd community clinics through the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. She oversaw the growth and expansion of CCALAC’s member clinics, which now serve over 1.6 million patients countywide.

DR. ZEIN OBAJI, ZO Skin Health

Visionary and pioneer of the philosophy and science of skin health, Zein Obagi, M.D. represents the best of the ZO Skin Health Circle. His philosophy embraces therapeutic treatments to improve medical conditions in the skin, as well as maintenance programs after corrective treatments. In addition, daily skin care regimens to improve the quality of the skin and counteract sun or age-related skin damage continues to be his ongoing mission as he creates innovative and preventative measures to improve a patient’s overall skin health.

Dr. Obagi was awarded 7 United States patents for devices and methods for treating skin damage. He has trained thousands of physicians on products and treatments for skin rejuvenation and restoration, both at his clinic in Beverly Hills and at seminars and workshops worldwide. He wrote and updated The Art of Skin Health Restoration and Rejuvenation: The Science of Clinical Practice 2nd Edition, which is a definitive medical textbook on the subject of skin health.

GLENN D. PASCUAL, Kaiser Permanente

As Director of Operations and Hospital Service for Kaiser Permanente, Glenn D. Pascual is responsible for partnering with senior leaders of the organization to maximize their ability to support its strategy for quality and service differentiation and become the employer and health plan of choice. His responsibilities include strategic change implementation, leadership team development, service program innovation, and initiatives associated with culture change.

Pascual also provides consultation to teams and groups of leaders to affect their strategic planning and alignment, decision-making, priority setting and execution, and to enhance their leadership skills and develop themselves and their teams to maximize performance. He assesses professional and clinical development/education needs of nursing staff, based on standards of care, with the major focus being on the development, implementation, coordination, and evaluation of programs to ensure and improve the competence of staff.

MARK K. PILON, Susan G. Komen, Los Angeles County

Mark K. Pilon, the executive director of Susan. G. Komen Los Angeles County since 2013, is an inspirational leader who has developed and grown the non-profit’s profile, presence, fundraising efforts and reach. He has improved local recognition for the LA County affiliate; developed and implemented strategies for major shifts in messaging; built local revenue streams including recurring gifts through the Core of Komen, a business influencers organization; reorganized processes and initiated the first collaborative effort with multiple affiliates for a single grant initiative to serve the African American community in California.

Prior to joining Komen LA County, the seasoned management executive spent 11 years with Make-A-Wish as president/CEO, initially handling Orange County, then adding responsibility for the Inland Empire. While at Make- A-Wish, Pilon achieved annual double-digit increases in wishes and led the organization through its first comprehensive strategic plan.

STEVEN ROSEN, City of Hope

Steven T. Rosen, M.D., is provost and chief scientific officer for City of Hope and a member of City of Hope’s Executive Team. He also is director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center and holds the Irell & Manella Cancer Center Director’s Distinguished Chair, and he is director of Beckman Research Institute (BRI) and the Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences.

Dr. Rosen sets the scientific direction of City of Hope, shaping the research and educational vision for the biomedical research, treatment and education institution. Working closely and collaboratively with City of Hope’s scientists, clinicians and administrative leaders, he develops strategies that contribute to the organization’s mission. As director of BRI, he works with faculty across the institution to help shape and direct the scientific vision for BRI while leading the vital basic and translational research that is fundamental to our strategic plan and mission.

STEPHEN SAMUEL, Premier Pharmacy Services

Stephen Samuel has over 18 years of CEO experience running Pemiere Pharmacy Services (PPS). Prior to that, he spent his time as an attorney protecting consumer rights. Under Samuel’s stewardship, PPS is licensed in all 50 states, and is a specialty pharmacy with collectively over 100 years of customer service providing medications nationally via mail order home delivery via UPS for overnight and second day mail delivery to our patients.

With approximately 300 team members working out of two pharmacies dispensing and distribution centers, Samuel and his team at PPS ensure the best clinical outcomes by building programs around the customer and each specific disease state. PPS’ goal and mission is to provide services that contribute to optimal pharmaceutical care to patients by participating as an integral member of the health care team through ensuring safe, effective, and compliant medication therapies and persistent follow up.

ROGER SEAVER, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital

Roger Seaver was appointed to the position of President and CEO of Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, a 238-bed independent community hospital in Valencia, in April of 2001. The growing, not-for-profit hospital serves the Santa Clarita Valley’s emergency and acute care needs and provides inpatient behavioral health and acute rehabilitation specialty care services along with a broad array of outpatient care. The hospital is accredited by The Joint Commission as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center and by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) for its Community Hospital Cancer Program. The hospital also earned the ACS Certificate of Verification for Trauma Services.

Seaver led the hospital to achieve a four star ranking in a national hospital compare survey. The recent update is a one-star improvement from the local hospital’s previous rank in the national survey of health care facilities. The hospital will use this award to redouble its efforts to make Henry Mayo the highest-quality hospital in California.

TONY SINAY, California State University Long Beach

Tony Sinay is a professor and chairman in the Health Care Administration Department at California State University Long Beach (CSULB). He started his academic career at University of Scranton in 1996 as an assistant professor. In 1999, he was promoted to Associate Professor at Des Moines University Osteopathic Medical School. In 2003, he became a professor and the program director at CSULB.

His research focuses on hospital mergers and closures, rural health clinics, access to care, healthy communities, osteopathic hospitals and community health centers. Dr. Sinay’s recent publications have appeared in Social Science & Medicine, AAO Journal, Health Care Management Review, Journal of Health Care Finance, Journal of Rural Health, Journal of Economics and Finance, Eastern Economic Journal, and Journal of Public Health and Health Management. In addition, Dr. Sinay has extensively consulted with local health care organizations, including four local hospitals in Long Beach.


Johnese Spisso was appointed to the position of President of UCLA Health, CEO of UCLA Hospital System and Associate Vice Chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences in February of 2016. She is a nationally recognized academic health care leader with more than 30 years of experience, and oversees all operations of UCLA’s hospitals and clinics as well as the health system’s regional outreach strategy.

Asa prominent and active member of UCLA’s CEOs Against Cancer Chapter, Spisso has crusaded a new frontier of cancer support for all UCLA Health Sites. In her role as President of UCLA Health, CEO of UCLA Hospital System and Associate Vice Chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences, she oversees all operations of UCLA’s hospitals and clinics as well as the health system’s regional outreach strategy. Spisso has launched a number of patient education and support initiatives for UCLA patients including an Onsite Resource Center and six Look Good Feel Better classes to help women undergoing cancer.


Craig E. Thompson joined APLA as chief operating officer in 1997 and became the chief executive officer in July 1998. In his current role, he oversees all operations for APLA Health, including clinical operations, client and community services, health education and HIV prevention, government affairs, fund development, finance, and communications.

APLA Health provides critical direct services to people living with HIV/AIDS, working to fight the stigma of HIV/AIDS and to end the epidemic. Over the years, Thompson and his team have played a key role in continually expanded services, adding dental and mental health care, developing robust HIV & STD testing services and prevention programs, increasing advocacy work, broadening critical support services and in 2015 adding primary medical care. Prior to joining APLA, Thompson was vice president and chief financial officer of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

The Alcoholism Center For Women

The Alcoholism Center For Women (ACW) has been a substance abuse treatment facility for women for over 40 years. Its residential treatment program began in 1974 and was the first program on the west coast to serve women with shelter and substance abuse treatment. Over the years, ACW has evolved into a gender responsive trauma- informed sophisticated drug and alcohol State-certified licensed and certified residential and outpatient treatment facility with a goal of overall wellness.

ACW’s substance abuse recovery services and support systems work well for women, as they are built on cutting edge federal evidence based practices, which includes family engagement, empowerment, and collaboration. ACW’s mission is to empower women to make new choices for positive futures.

First Serenity Hospice

First Serenity Hospice is a Hospice & Palliative services company whose key mission is to preserve human dignity and to respect the rights of all patients facing life-limiting illness where there is no cure. Based in Century City, First Serenity Hospice was founded by its CEO Elizabeth Girgis. Dr. Salib – a distinguished Geriatrician – serves as the Medical Director for the agency. Both are known for their humanity, professionalism, and comprehensive body of knowledge.

The First Serenity team is passionate about serving others with empathy and sensitivity at an emotionally fraught life interval for both patients and families. First Serenity provides Palliative and Hospice care for patients with repeated hospitalizations and overall declination in health. The philosophy is simple: to serve those facing end-of-life decisions with grace, honor, and reverence.

Saban Community Clinic

Saban Community Clinic in collaboration with strategic partners provides dependable and affordable quality health care and human services in a caring environment for the underserved and those who are most vulnerable. Since 1967, Saban Community Clinic has been the trusted medical home for thousands of Los Angeles families. The nonprofit community clinic dedicated to the wellbeing of everyone, from babies to adults to seniors. As a Federally Qualified Health Center, its patients receive quality, compassionate and affordable health care under one roof – preventive care, dentistry, pediatrics, pharmacy, even mental health services.

Saban Community Clinic focuses on care throughout a patient’s lifetime, offering the best of large hospitals with the value of a free clinic.

Shriners for Children Medical Center

Shriners for Children Medical Center, previously known as Shriners Hospitals for Children — Los Angeles, is a specialty medical center providing comprehensive medical, surgical and rehabilitative care to children up to age 18 with orthopaedic conditions, burn scars, and cleft lip and palate. Patients receive all services in a family-centered environment, regardless of the families’ ability to pay. In 2017, Shriners Hospitals for Children — Los Angeles transitioned to Shriners for Children Medical Center, where it operates as an ambulatory surgery center. Although the Center has moved, its mission is still dedicated to meeting the needs of as many patients and families as possible that can benefit from its services. Shriners’ family centered approach to care is designed to support the entire family during all phases of a child’s care.

Twin Town Treatment Centers

Twin Town Treatment Centers provides intensive outpatient and day treatment for substance use disorders (SUD/ addiction). Services are available for LA and Orange County residents living within a commute distance from West Hollywood, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Los Alamitos, Orange and Mission Viejo. Consumers are referred by a variety of medical or mental health professionals, hospitals, residential treatment centers, and other social service agencies. The goals of treatment include the establishment of life management and recovery skills, which lead to life-long recovery.

Intensive outpatient rehabilitation provides recovery skills that are learned and practiced in real life, in real time. Most participants continue to work, go to school and/or provide family responsibilities while engaged in treatment.

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